I first visited the Ahoy Fountain in Eldora, Iowa many years ago. For some time I had been intending to go back to review the soda fountain. That opportunity finally came when I scheduled a dentist's appointment in Eldora. Afterward, my papa and I stopped at the Ahoy Fountain for lunch.
Now it may not seem fair to review a restaurant after going to the dentist, but my mouth was not anesthetized; I was in full control of my faculties, and I can guarantee an honest review.
The original soda fountain was installed in the pharmacy in 1928. It was destroyed by a fire in 1948 and replaced. In 1982, it closed when the owner retired, but was later re-opened.
There is a treasure trove of memorabilia on display, including photos and news stories about the fountain; it was very interesting. The only thing I disliked was that there were several vintage pin-up pictures as well, and though I'm sure the owners' intentions are to add to the old-time feel, I didn't find them in good taste. The Coke advertisements, on the other hand, were very neat to see.
Eldora HealthMart Pharmacy is in the adjourning building, and you can walk right into the pharmacy from the soda fountain.
For lunch I ordered a Greenbelt Green River ($0.89) and a deli sandwich with white bread, turkey, Swiss cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, and mayonnaise ($3.76). Service was prompt, and my order was ready in no time.
The Green River was nice and strong, but it wasn't as cold as I would have liked. I guess that is the trade off: more ice would have made it colder but also would have watered it down.
The deli sandwich was very filling, but not at all exciting. It tasted like something I could easily make at home by pulling out a couple slices of bread and tossing on a few ingredients from the refrigerator. Next time I visit, I plan to try something more lively: perhaps a chicken sandwich or hamburger.
I was just about too full to try dessert, but Papa insisted that to write a good review I needed to check out the desserts. So for you, my dear readers, I made the great sacrifice of trying a Tuny Marks Mule ($2.00).
A Tuny Marks Mule is a small coke glass filled with vanilla ice cream, covered with chocolate syrup, malt powder, and pieces of peanuts. Marks was the name of the family that owned the pharmacy from 1920 to 1982, so that explains one of the three words. It was very sweet and delicious; it's hard to go wrong with ice cream!
The atmosphere was very pleasant, and it was interesting to listen to the waitresses and other customers talk about their childhoods as they ate. For many people, the Ahoy Fountain must bring back fond memories, but I still prefer the Ackley Soda Fountain. It doesn't have as wide a selection of foods, but it is where my memories reside. That doesn't mean I won't be returning to the Ahoy Fountain; one of these days I need to try their chicken sandwich and banana split!
Deli sandwich: 2.5 stars
Green River: 4 stars
Ice cream: 4 stars
Cleanliness: 5 stars
Service: 5 stars
Affordability: 5 stars
Linking with: Rubbish Tuesday.